Basic Neurology

Neuron A nerve cell.
Glial Cells Cells that nourish and insulate neurons, direct their growth and remove waste products from the nervous system.
Dendrites Rootlike structures, attached to the cell body of the neuron, that receive impulses from the other neurons.
Axon A long, thin part of the neuron that transmit impulses to other neurons from branching structures called terminal buttons.
Afferent Neurons Neurons that transmit messages from sensory receptors to the spinal cord and brain. Also called sensory neurons.
Efferent Neurons Neurons that transmit messages from the brain or spinal cord to muscles and glands. Also called motor neurons.
Synapse A junction between the axon terminals of one neuron and the dendrites or cell body of another neuron.
Neurotransmitters Chemical substances involved in the transmission of neural impulses from one neuron to another.
Hippocampus A part of the limbic system of the brain that is involved in memory function.
Dopamine A neurotransmitter that is involved in Parkinson’s disease and that appears to play a role in schizophrenia.
Norepinephrine A neurotransmitter whose action is similar to that of the hormone epinephrine and that may play a role in depression.
Serotonin A neurotransmitter, deficiencies of which have been linked to affective disorders, anxiety and insomnia.
Endorphins Neurotransmitter that are composed of amino acids and that are functionally similar to morphine.
Nerve A bundle of axons from many neurons.
Central Nervous System The brain and spinal cord.
Peripheral Nervous System The part of the nervous system consisting of the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system.
Somatic Nervous System The division of the peripheral nervous system that connects the central nervous system that connects the central nervous system with sensory receptors, skeletal muscles, and the surface of the body.
Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) The division of the peripheral nervous system that regulates glands and activities such as the heartbeat, respiration, digestion, and dilation of pupils.

Source: Psychology: Concepts and Connections, Spencer A. Rathus, 2007

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